Luigi Beccali

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Luigi Beccali.jpg
Personal information
Born 19 November 1907
Milan, Italy
Died 29 August 1990 (aged 82)
Daytona Beach, Florida, United States
Height 1.69 m (5 ft 7 in)
Weight 63 kg (139 lb)
Sport
Sport Middle-distance running
Club Pro Patria Milano
Coached by Dino Nai[1]

Luigi Beccali (19 November 1907 – 29 August 1990) was the first Italian to win an Olympic gold medal in running, in the 1500 metres at the 1932 Summer Olympics, and the first Italian to win a European Championship title in athletics.[1]

Biography[edit]

Luigi Beccali 1983 Paraguay stamp.jpg

Born in Milan, Luigi Beccali, as a youth, was fascinated by cycling and track and field athletics, but choose the latter, when he met the coach Dino Nai.[1]

Luigi Beccali, an Italian champion in 1500 m from 1928 to 1931, became a national hero overnight when he won the Olympic 1500 m gold at Los Angeles. While mounted on the victory platform he was the first person to give the Fascist salute.

In 1933, Beccali ran three world records. At first he equalled Jules Ladoumègue's world record 3:49.2, then lowered it to 3:49.0. At the end of the year he also set the 1,000 yd (910 m) world record of 2:10.0.

Beccali won the 1500 m at the first European Championships in 1934, but was overrun by Jack Lovelock at the 1936 Summer Olympics, settling to the third place in 1500 m. He was again third in 1500 m at the European Championships in 1938. He also won the Italian championships from 1934 to 1938 in 1500 m and at 1935 in 5000 m.

Beccali was originally a council surveyor, responsible for road maintenance. His relaxed work schedule allowed him to train twice a day, more than many of his competitors. He eventually moved to the United States, and retired from running there in 1941, becoming a wine trader.[1]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Luigi Beccali. sports-reference.com
Records
Preceded by
France Jules Ladoumegue
Men's 1,500 m World Record Holder
9 October 1933 – 30 June 1934
Succeeded by
United States Bill Bonthron
Preceded by
France Jules Ladoumegue
European Record Holder Men's 1500m
9 September 1933 – 2 October 1937
Succeeded by
Hungary Miklós Szabó